Dolly plans for Winter

Hello everyone! It’s been a while, I know. I have a tendency to be very interested in dolls for a bit, then I’ll find something else but I will always come back. One thing I’ve noticed about my dolls recently is that they are mostly all dressed in Summer dresses as I’m much more inclined to buy a new doll than a new outfit for a doll, which got me thinking about some doll-related DIYs I could set myself for the near future.

Firstly, some snuggly clothes for my Paola Reina Liu would be lovely as her wardrobe is very limited at the moment! Possibly a name would help, too- I’m awful at naming my dolls.

Secondly, I have three baby Sasha dolls (as in Sasha Morgenthaler) who are in desperate need of new outfits. Two blond boys and a brunette girl. That’s four outfits to make- possibly enough for now!

Of course, as if having all these dolls to clothe isn’t enough I’ve also been looking at new ones (what is life without a doll wishlist?). At the top right now is Gotz Happy Kidz Emily 2016. I’m justifying this because she’s a size of doll I don’t have at all, which I suppose would allow me to make clothes for a lot of dolls in that size? Who knows if I’ll end up with her one day or not! Almost all of my dolls have dark hair so it would be an interesting change.

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This is one of the company photos that I found at http://www.petalinadolls.co.uk/ (where I can spend hours upon hours browsing), but I think I would dress her quite differently. I’ve seen owners photos of her wearing really childish clothes which I think fit brilliantly.

Who is top of your dolly wishlist at the moment?

-Julia

 

Cloth doll making- looking back!

For a while now I’ve been trying to figure out how to make good cloth dolls, and I’m definitely not quite there yet. Rather than looking at the ones I can make now I thought today I’d look back one one I made over a period of time a year or so ago! I tried out lots of things for the first time with this doll and learned lots to do differently the next time.

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I constructed her head with a layer underneath which i put the “skin” on top of to give it a bit more shape. Sort of like a Waldorf doll! Except this doll is stuffed with polyester fibre. Her face was painted with acrylic paints and it a little quirky! She was going to have all white hair to start with. It took me a lot of time to even work up the motivation to give her hair. Poor girl. I now know how to make the neck of dolls less floppy, but at the time I had no idea and all that hair is quite heavy so when you carry her she does flop a little.

I’m a bit lacking in full body photos of her so here’s one I took for my college sketchbook a while back:

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I initially bought those shoes and made that dress (out of the top of a beautiful christening dress) for my MSD size bjd. The dress doesn’t fit her amazingly, but the shoes really help her to stand! She has thread jointed limbs which are so much fun for posing. Her hair is in that style because there is a lot a lot of it and if I free it it goes utterly crazy.

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I wish I could find more of this beautiful honey coloured skin fabric, but I have no idea where it came from! I might post more about the dolls I made before this blog existed as it’s really useful to have somewhere to see my (I hope!) progress. I searched my iphoto for a date so I could say exactly when this girl was made, but I can’t find any work in progress photos of her on here so she could be older than I thought!

Thank you so much for reading! -Julia

Liu Goes Outside

After all this not posting, I have a couple of photos to share! I found this sweet little coat to fit my Liu doll, put her hair in buns as I had planned to before she even arrived and took her outside to see the world.

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I’m really looking forward to making new clothes for her, too! Still deciding on a name for sure. This time I’m trying to make sure the company name doesn’t stick, but I’m not doing an amazing job! -Julia

New Arrival- Paola Reina Liu

My Liu doll arrived! Actually, she arrived yesterday. Yep, that’s right, on the morning of a bank holiday, amazingly. This isn’t going to be a real review of her, just a few little notes about her and pictures.

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What could be inside this very exciting box? I wonder.

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So maybe the box isn’t best prepared for shipping or photo taking, but that’s okay. Nobody can help static!

My full-body picture of her fresh out of the box turned out unfortunately blurry, so if anyone would like to see a photo of her in her full default outfit I’d be happy to take a new one but for now here’s a close up of her face which thankfully didn’t turn out too unfocused!

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So maybe her eyelashes and eyebrows are a tad crazy but I’m so pleased with her. She feels lovely; her vinyl is smooth and a beautiful colour. She has very thick hair which can be a little unruly which I don’t mind in the slightest.

Next we raided my doll-clothes box to see what fitted her. She is 32cm tall which is between BJD sizes and she also has quite a big head! This is all I could come up with right now.

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The cardigan is a little revealing at the front there! This is her default skirt and shoes too. The shoes are actually very good, and the skirt doesn’t seem to be bad quality either! The hat is made to fit an MSD size BJD head, but it fits her nicely. Putting a doll in “home clothes” is usually the first thing I do when I get a new doll before I make them any of their own clothes. Maybe it’s something about making them feel more familiar?

This is a very short post but I’ll be back with more photos of her soon for sure! I’m thinking maybe I’ll call her Lissy, but I’m still very much open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading! -Julia

Edit: I just realised I forgot to add in about this brilliant way she was attached to her box. No scissors were needed and no fingers were injured in freeing her, which I think might just be a first!

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There’s a little plastic hook stuck to the box on either side of her and an elastic band going between them holding her in. I haven’t seen this used in doll packaging before and I’m really hoping it catches on! -Julia

Incoming- Paola Reina Liu!

I’ve only had this blog running a very short while but I’m already so excited about all the things I want to do here. I’m trying to post every other day (but it’s early days yet!). Having said that today’s post is quite short so maybe I’ll post more to make up for it?

My news is that I have a Paola Reina Liu doll on the way! I got the dispatch notice today, which is a Sunday, and tomorrow is a bank holiday Monday so I’m not sure when she’s going to actually get here. This is a size of doll I haven’t worked with before so I’m pretty excited about the clothes-making possibilities.

I’ll be sure to take lots of photos when she arrives, and in the mean time I’ve collected some people’s beautiful photos of their own versions of this doll in a pinterest board for motivation.

I went for the Winter outfit version, just because she has longer hair so I can decide how I want it when she gets here. I’m not the biggest fan of the look of any of the outfits, but who knows, I might think completely differently when she gets here.

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I think (as with lots of dolls!) the company photos don’t show her in the best light, it’s really the owner photos that made me want this doll. I’ve got lots of plans for her!

-Julia

An Adventure In Dollmaking (2)

Guess who got a body today?

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This thing was so tiny to make, I even had to sew some of it by hand which is something I usually avoid if possible at all costs. I used blue embroidery thread and pulled it through little channels I made around the edges of where each limb would go, and then pulled the thread tight into the dip at the top of the limb to secure it. I have a feeling that doesn’t make much sense in writing! This does mean that each limb can turn though, which is very useful for posing.

I put some plastic beads in the body to try to balance out the weight, as the polymer clay limbs and head are quite heavy too. I used fibrefill to stuff the rest of the body.

This is how she looks without clothes, I think she looks a bit sad! I’ll have to give her some hair sometime.

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I did notice a couple more cracks on her face today that I don’t think were there yesterday so I really hope they won’t spread any more!

This girl doesn’t have an outfit of her own yet, and you can tell exactly where she got these clothes from by the now half naked dolls sitting on my shelf! The hat is far too big and keeps slipping down over here eyes. I don’t think she minds.

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Here she is! With awkward scraps of thread sticking out of her hand-me-down dress and this scratched up little face, I think it’s safe to say I fulfilled my prediction that she wouldn’t be perfect (that one wasn’t hard!). I made her anyway and I’m so happy I did! It’s been a really educational experience, actually. There are lots of things I might do differently next time but I’m just a teeeny bit proud! Look at that face. She can suck her thumb. I can’t tell if this is because I made her and I’m not sure what she looks like to other people, but to me she’s kind of sweet. I don’t always like the things I make so this is very exciting.
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I love how this hat makes her head look like a huge strawberry.

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I think I’d definitely like to make her clothes of her own sometime, but for now this has been my little dollmaking adventure! I hope someone out there enjoyed this. It’s good to know it doesn’t require much to make a doll (of some sort) and I’m pretty sure if I can do it anyone can!

Also thank you so much those of you who commented on my last post, they were all so sweet and it made me so happy reading through them. I wasn’t really expecting anyone to even like it, seeing as it’s only the second post! You guys are brilliant.

-Julia

An Adventure In Dollmaking (1)

One thing most dolls have in common is that they were, at one point, sculpted by an artist. How hard can it be to make a simple doll? I said. Little did I know that Fimo soft doesn’t behave in real life quite as it does in my head. Before I set out, I got two things straight.
Firstly, that this doll wouldn’t be perfect. No matter what. It wouldn’t be. This is my first attempt, after all! Secondly that I would make it anyway, from start to finish. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and often start things, get disappointed and never finish. This kid, I told myself, no matter how weird, will be a doll.

To set out I drew up a sketch (maybe a sort of blueprint?) of the size I wanted the doll to be. This is nothing pretty, just a sort of visual reference so I didn’t get completely off-track!

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I’ve also got my materials all gathered here as if this is going to be an organised pursuit of creativity and not a frustrating lint vs pale clay disaster. I have flesh coloured Fimo soft, baby oil which helps to smooth out the surface (but it did make the Fimo quite sticky!), and some foil. I screwed up the foil into a tight ball to fit inside the head.

Next, um, all this happened.

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It was starting to go dark by this time so please forgive the horrific lighting. The sculpting, as you can see, is a bit awful too. You smooth out this stuff on one side and find that your fingers have been digging into the other side. Fingerprint marks are everywhere, the arms look like alien worms and the face captures your exact mood at the time. It is not a peaceful one.

So, I rolled this head back up into a ball of clay with a piece of foil in the middle and did the same with the alien worm arms. It was a moment of pain but the second versions of each definitely beat the first!

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This is the head I decided to bake before baking. See all that lint? My workspace hardly even seems dusty, yet it’s everywhere! The eyes are also a little wonky here.

Once I was done with poking bits of clay and wondering if this was even a good idea to start with, into the oven she went for 30 minutes at 110˚c. When she came out, she looked like this! (Then I blushed her nose a little for the second picture).

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My limb sculpting is truly shameful. To be fair, this is all in one evening though! She looks ever so angry in the first picture, maybe because of the crack in her head that formed in the oven? Poor girl. Time to give her a face! I had Fritzi and a baby Sasha doll on my desk for reference. Safe in the knowledge that I could paint over all of her if this went terribly, I tackled her with chalk pastels and acrylics until she looked like this!

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Not perfect, as promised. I do think she turned out a little sweet though! Fritzi even lent her her bunny hat, but it was far too big.

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Oh, also, I decided to make a feature of her “scratch”. She has very blushed cheeks largely due to me forgetting to tap the chalk dust off my brush one time, and then having to match the whole face to that level of intense pink! There’s so much I didn’t even notice about her in real life, but that is quite noticeable in photos. Such as that line on the opposite side to the scratch- what even IS that?

Right now I’m working on her wig, and next will be her body! Hopefully in my next post she’ll even have a name. Thanks for sharing my roller-coaster dolly-related experience! -Julia